Iconic club reaps the benefits of Attraxor

Chris Bassettin Chemicals & Fertilisers

Gloucester Rugby Head Groundsman, Stuart Lambert, believes that the use of Attraxor® plant growth regulator (PGR), has helped him to achieve a stronger sward while simultaneously reducing the amount of Poa annua.

Stuart Lambert (left) with Jerome Vidgen

Stuart started at Gloucester Rugby in August 2018 and admits to learning and adapting to the way the pitch plays every single day. This means that he must be flexible in his maintenance strategy and be open to new products which could make a difference to the pitch at the Kingsholm Stadium.

He came across such a product at BTME 2020 in the form of Attraxor® plant growth regulator (PGR). In further researching the product, he found that it came highly recommended by Mark Allen from Agrovista Amenity and Adam King, Head Groundsman at Oxford United Football Club.

"Attraxor® appealed to me because PGR's are a significant part of my overall maintenance strategy to improve the turf and control Poa annua," said Stuart. "2020 was a particularly challenging year for Poa so I was keen to see what the product could offer. Speaking to Mark and Adam gave me the confidence to try it and the results have been far better than expected."

Stuart claims that a lack of sunlight to the pitch led to an increase in Poa: "In the winter months almost the whole pitch is in shade because the stand is so high," he said. "This has been a big factor for the care programme I have chosen to adopt. Maintaining grass coverage is a constant concern in the lower light months and the thinning grass often gives way to Poa annua in the spring which takes hold. It's a tricky combination to contend with."

"The lack of light, winter thinning and then the Poa means the turf is high maintenance. Couple this with the winter months being in heavy use and it means we are regularly out with pitch lights to encourage growth in match torn areas."

After carrying out a mini renovation in June last year, Stuart applied 1.1 kg/ha of Attraxor® with 20kg of 46-0-0 nitrogen fertiliser. Attraxor® contains prohexadione-calcium, a new active ingredient that regulates growth and also limits the spread of Poa annua by reducing seed-head production.

"It visibly weakened the Poa," said Stuart. "It looked stressed but the rye around it looked good. It turned the seed heads brown."

Following the first application Stuart is now confident that Attraxor® will form an important part of his overall maintenance plan. "It is good to have a product that strengthens the sward and improves density whilst weakening the Poa. I definitely intend on applying it again," he concluded.

For more information about Agrovista Amenity, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity